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Novel Coronavirus: Resources for the Greater Washington Area

Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

Following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, communities across the country are trying to prevent any further spread. While cases of COVID-19 have been documented in more than 60 countries and more cases are being reported in the United States, health officials at the local, national and international levels are working to increase awareness of the virus and help diminish misleading claims or false information.

During this uncertain time in our area, it's more important than ever to know the facts about this virus, how it spreads and how you can help protect not just yourselves, but your loved ones and vulnerable people around you. We've compiled a list of resources below from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, where you'll be able to keep up with the latest updates on the disease, including recommendations for testing and treatment, along with general mitigation strategies. 

How You Can Help Stop the Spread

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus

The virus is thought to be spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. But by following some basic steps, you can help proctect yourself and your loved ones.

Icon of washing hands

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Icon of a woman inside

Avoid close contact

person with cloth face covering

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Icon of a person using a tissue

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Icon of cleaning surfaces

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Icon of a sick person in bed

what to do if you are sick

  • Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • More information on what to do if you are sick.

Local Resources Where You Live

As COVID-19 spreads through more communities in our area, stay in touch with the latest updates and health advisories where you live. 

Local Headlines from WAMU

The Census Bureau Will Stop Counting A Month Early. Here’s What That Means For D.C.

Getting an accurate count of who lives in the District, especially during a pandemic, was already challenging. Having a month less than previously planned will make it even more difficult.

New Study Finds Significant Racial, Socioeconomic Disparities In COVID-19 Among Children

White children tested positive 7% of the time at the Children’s National testing site. But Black and Hispanic children tested positive at much higher rates: 30%, and 46%, respectively.

Georgetown Financial Aid Cuts A ‘Slap In The Face’ Amid Pandemic, Some Students Say

While the university has adjusted to online classes for the fall, some worry they won't be able to attend at all given their financial aid changes.

Student Loan Debt Relief Is Set To Expire Soon, Leaving Some D.C. Borrowers Worried

A reprieve from having to pay their student loans has been a relief for many, but it could disappear unless Congress acts before the end of September.

Managing Anxiety & Stress

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Here are some recommendations from the CDC on things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditateexternal icon. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

For additonal information, including specific recommendations for parents and responders, go to the CDC website.

Latest from PBS NewsHour

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe's alarm

Europeans are surprised by the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. as the number of confirmed cases in country hits 5 million.

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe's alarm

Europeans are surprised by the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. as the number of confirmed cases in country hits 5 million.

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe's alarm

Europeans are surprised by the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. as the number of confirmed cases in country hits 5 million.

Brazil makes grim milestone -- 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

Brazil passed the grim milestone of 100,000 dead from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil makes grim milestone -- 100,000 deaths from COVID-19

Brazil passed the grim milestone of 100,000 dead from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latest from NPR

U.S. Hits 5 Million Coronavirus Cases As Debate Lingers Over The Path Forward

The U.S. continues to lead the world in both cases and deaths, as states across the Midwest and South battle a surge in new cases.

U.S. Hits 5 Million Coronavirus Cases As Debate Lingers Over The Path Forward

The U.S. continues to lead the world in both cases and deaths, as states across the Midwest and South battle a surge in new cases.

U.S. Hits 5 Million Coronavirus Cases As Debate Lingers Over The Path Forward

The U.S. continues to lead the world in both cases and deaths, as states across the Midwest and South battle a surge in new cases.

U.S. Hits 5 Million Coronavirus Cases As Debate Lingers Over The Path Forward

The U.S. continues to lead the world in both cases and deaths, as states across the Midwest and South battle a surge in new cases.

Virginia Supreme Court Grants Temporary Moratorium on Evictions

In a 4-3 decision Friday, the state's high court granted a request by Gov. Ralph Northam to allow a pause to eviction proceedings. The decision halts evictions through September 7.

Map: The Real-time Spread of Coronavirus in the U.S.